Heart & Vascular Diseases
An aneurysm is an abnormal dilatation of a blood vessel. The most severe complication of an aneurysm is rupture of the blood vessel. Ultrasound imaging techniques, CT, and MRI are usually used to diagnose aneurysm.
An arrhythmia is an alteration in rhythm of the heartbeat. There are many different forms of arrhythmias with prognosis ranging from benign to life-threatening. One common test to diagnose an arrhythmia is an ECG, 24 hours Holter monitor or an event monitor.
Atherosclerosis is a condition in which an artery wall thickens as the result of a build up of fatty materials such as cholesterol. This buildup of plaque can lead to impairment of blood flow resulting in an infarction of the tissue downstream of the diseased artery (examples are coronary or carotid atherosclerosis leading to a heart attack or stroke).
Carotid Artery Disease
Carotid arteries supply blood to the brain and other parts of the head. Plaque buildup in these arteries can lead to a stroke. One common test to diagnose carotid artery disease is a carotid artery ultrasound.
Coronary Artery Disease
Carotid arteries supply blood to the heart. Plaque build-up in these arteries can lead to a heart attack. Coronary artery disease is usually diagnosed with a stress test.
Heart failure is a condition in which the pump ability of the heart is not sufficient to meet the demands of the body's needs. One common cause of heart failure is weakening of the heart muscle as a result of a heart attack. Common symptoms of heart failure are generalized weakness, shortness of breath, leg edema, and frequent urination at night time. Treatment of heart failure ranges from the use of medications to surgical procedures.
Peripheral Arterial Disease
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is caused by plaque formation in the arteries supplying blood to legs and/ or arms. Typical symptoms include pain in legs during walking. Ultrasound imaging techniques and blood pressure measurements help to diagnose PAD.
Renal Artery Disease
Blockages in the blood flow of the renal arteries can lead to elevated blood pressure and impairment of kidney function. Ultrasound and nuclear imaging studies can diagnose this condition.
Valvular Heart Disease
The normal heart has four valves (aortic, mitral, pulmonic and tricuspid valve), which direct the blood flow through the heart. Malfunctioning of these valves includes the insufficient opening or closing of a valve. Valvular heart disease can lead to heart failure and can manifest in many different symptoms including shortness of breath, leg swelling, and chest pain.
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Waqar Khan, M.D., MPH, FACC, FSCAI
Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center
400 Holderrieth Blvd., Suite #104
Tomball, TX 77375